Acabar con la maldición de los recursos

Con frecuencia los países ricos en recursos naturales son pobres, porque la explotación de dichos recursos ha tenido prelación sobre el buen gobierno. Con frecuencia las empresas petroleras y mineras en competencia, respaldadas por sus gobiernos, están dispuestas a hacer tratos con cualquiera que pueda garantizarles una concesión, lo que ha contribuido a la aparición de gobiernos corruptos y represivos y ha fomentado los conflictos armados. En África, países ricos en recursos, como el Congo, Angola y el Sudán, han resultado asolados por guerras civiles. En el Oriente Medio, el desarrollo democrático ha quedado rezagado.

Si se acabara con esa “maldición de los recursos”, se podría hacer una importante contribución a la mitigación de la pobreza y la miseria en el mundo y ya está en marcha un movimiento internacional para conseguirlo. La primera medida es la transparencia; la segunda, la rendición democrática de cuentas.

El movimiento se inició hace unos años con la campaña “Hagan público lo que pagan”, que instaba a las compañías petroleras y mineras a revelar los pagos hechos a los gobiernos. En vista de ello, el Gobierno británico lanzó la Iniciativa en pro de la transparencia de las industrias extractivas (ITIE). En la actualidad, tres años después de que se iniciara ese proceso, el Reino Unido va a celebrar una importante conferencia en Londres sobre la ITIE, a la que asistirán representantes de los gobiernos, las empresas y la sociedad civil.

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